The 51% Gospel

the-scales-of-justice

I hear this all the time (even from believers): “If I do more good than bad, I will get into Heaven. If I do more bad than good, I’ll probably go to Hell.”

This is the 51% Gospel.

It’s the “cosmic scale” theory. There is a huge scale in front of God. All the good stuff  I do goes on one side and all the bad stuff I do goes on the other. I’ve just got to do enough to tip the scales over to the good side. JUST OVER HALF, THAT’S ALL I NEED!

OK, let’s set aside Isaiah 64:6 and Romans 3:10-18… and let’s set aside the fact that this idea has ABSOLUTLEY NO BIBLICAL BASIS WHATSOEVER.

The 51% Gospel opens a deluge of concerning questions:

  • How are sins “weighted?” I’m assuming murder “weighs more” than a little white lie. What if I’ve never lied (whoops, there’s one right there), but I did rob somebody: does that, like, cancel each other out or something?
  • How do I know the score? How can I ever know if I’ve done enough?! I mean, am I even close or should I plan on donating a kidney some time in the near future?
  • What about “bad stuff” I committed unknowingly; do they still get put in my account? I didn’t know those things were even bad!
  • What about “good stuff” I did that turned out bad or “bad stuff” I did that turned out good? Who decides which is which?
  • What if I did a “bad” thing so that a “good” thing would happen? (The popular scenario is murdering Hitler to erase the Holocaust.)
  • What if my “good thing” accidently caused someone else to do a “bad thing?” Do I get to defend myself and tell MY side of the story?
  • Is time and culture factored in somehow? OMG doesn’t still count as a “bad thing” anymore, does it? I mean, it’s 2018 for crying out loud. It’s just an expression nowadays. It’s not really taking the Lord’s name in vain. You know that, right?
  • ARE WE GRADED ON A CURVE? Look at my neighbor; I’ve done way more “good things” than they have! If I don’t make it, there’s no way they’re going to make it.
  • What it my scale reads 50% – is there a tie-breaker?
  • Do I get some kind of award if my scale is 100% on the good side? That’s pretty special, isn’t it? I should get a ribbon or something.
  • Here’s a last one: what about my thought-life? What if I did a lot of “good things” but inwardly was a closet-racist the whole time?

Man, I’m tired from just thinking about this, let alone living it.

If this were true, Jesus doesn’t even come into the picture. If this were true, the Cross means nothing because it doesn’t even matter. If this were true, the Resurrection is irrelevant, inconsequential, and pointless! If this were true, we don’t need the virgin birth or the Bible for that matter. We could have saved the earth trillions of trees. Mankind only needed five words: Do more good than bad.

Of course, this is not true. This is a lie.

The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” The 51% “gospel” is not good news; It is terrifying news.

If you have traded the truth for this lie, please just THINK IT THROUGH! Salvation is by faith alone in Jesus alone. That’s it. Anything else is not good news.

Spinach In My Teeth

Gal. 6:1
Gal. 6:1

What if you had a bright-green glob of spinach stuck right in the middle of your two front teeth? Then you went the whole day and no one told you. Wouldn’t you wonder, with all the people you came into contact with that day, why no one told you?!

If someone did tell you, it would probably be embarrassing at first. It might even make you feel stupid. However, later on, you would thank them. Right?

If no one told me, I would think that the whole day, people were actually ignoring it. They had to have been distracted by this giant glaring piece of vegetable lodged in my teeth! Oh, you know they saw it, right? I mean, there’s no mistaking it!

Well, it takes guts to tell someone there is something stuck in their teeth. The whole time you’re thinking, “Should I tell them? Nah, it’s not that bad. Maybe someone else will tell them. Maybe it will become loose and just fall out on its own. How do they not know? Look at it! Wow, its huge!… Great, too much time has gone by and it would look weird if I mentioned it now. Ok, this is making me uncomfortable. WAIT! Maybe I’ve got something in MY teeth! AHHHH!”

If I did tell you had spinach in your teeth, how would you respond?

“MY TEETH? Look at YOUR TEETH! You think YOUR TEETH are so clean? They are just as bad as mine! Not to mention your breath! I’ve been meaning to tell you: Your breath is pretty rank, buddy. Why don’t you use some mouthwash? THEN come back and tell me about MY terrible spinach infestation!”
Of course not. You and I are not like that, are we? We would thank that person and get that dastardly spinach out of our teeth right then and there and FOREVER! Right?

I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. Pride is a funny thing. It can topple even the strongest person. It can blind even the brightest of people. We have to fill ourselves with the Holy Word of God and align our steps with His only Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. That’s the only way any of us even have a chance.

And if someone loves you enough to tell you that you have spinach in your teeth? Thank them. Thank them for being so brave and honest.

God Bless!
#BearOneAnothersBurdens
Ref: Galatians 6:1

Where You Belong

mrpatvincent
Acts 1:25

When Peter announced to the first believers that they needed to fill Judas’s empty position*, he used a phrase that always glares at me. I feel it piercing my heart every time I read it. It’s almost as if those words growl and claw. He prays “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go WHERE HE BELONGS” [emp. added].

To go where he belongs. Ouch. I think we all know where that is.

“To go where he belongs” is the NIV translation. The KJ and NAS say, “to go to his own place” and the MSG says, “to go his own way.”

We all belong somewhere. There is a place where we are going to go. You and I cannot be in two places at once. It is either going to be here or it is going to be there. Only God can be in multiple places. Not even the enemy can do that.

There is no spiritual fence-riding. If you think you are straddling that fence, think again. As Peter prayed, God knows EVERYONE’S heart. He knows which side your heart is really on. We fool others and we may even fool ourselves, but there is no fooling God.

Going where you belong can be a comforting thought or a frightening one.

For a Child of the King, where you belong is in the house of your Father. Where you belong is a place you have longingly envisioned a million times and it will be a million times more magnificent that you ever could dream.

For a child of the world, where you belong is in the house of your father. Where you belong is a place you never ever thought of and it will be a million times more horrifying than you could have ever envisioned.

Where will you belong?

God bless!

*Acts 1:15-26